GOP Amendment Would Lead to Shut Down of Smithsonian Museums, National Zoo

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    (These people are truly nuts. – promoted by lowkell)

    Washington, DC – Congressman Jim Moran, Ranking Member on the Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, today stood against an amendment to slash the Smithsonian’s budget by more than $55 million; a cut that would lead to the closure of either two Smithsonian museums or the National Zoo. The amendment, introduced by Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA), was voted on this afternoon as part of the FY’12 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill. After vigorous whipping against the amendment, it failed on a 110-317 vote.

    “This amendment is a misguided attempt at deficit reduction that would save virtually nothing, yet lead to the closure of some of most popular tourist attractions in our nation’s capital,” said Rep. Moran. “The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s leading museum complex. It is something that all Americans can be proud of and learn from. We should be supporting their work, not tearing it down.”

    The Smithsonian Institute reports the impact of a $55,624,000 cut to the Salaries and Expense account would lead to the elimination of 600 positions, a more than 14% reduction in staff. A workforce reduction of that magnitude would lead to “closure of at least one if not two major museums or the National Zoo.”

    Moran continued, “It’s the wrong thing to do for our country. It’s the wrong thing to do to the 600 employees whose livelihoods would be threatened. And it’s the wrong thing to do to our constituents who travel from across the country to explore all the great educational attractions Washington D.C. has to offer.”